What Women Should Know Before Joining the Cybersecurity Industry


I speak with women in the cybersecurity industry almost every day, from our own security team, to potential candidates, female CISOs, and security professionals at our client organizations. I ask them all some version of the same question: What do you wish every woman considering a career in cybersecurity knew?

After dozens, if not hundreds, of these conversations, there are three themes that I hear over and over again as the most important things for women to know when evaluating the cybersecurity profession.

First, ignore “Cyber” – it’s just security

There is a misconception that cybersecurity is an inherently technical practice, requiring a degree in computer science or science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). And while women have made huge strides in STEM industries, much of that has come in science, with only 25% of women in STEM fields in computer-related roles.

Women are still underrepresented in software engineering and IT. And a lot of times cybersecurity gets lumped in with that, and with that comes the belief that it requires the same skills. On the same subject : Why India needs strong cyber security norms to curb misuse of VPNs, Telecom News, ET Telecom. And that is simply not the case. Fundamentally, the job of cybersecurity teams is to assess, prioritize, and work to address risks; nothing there requires a STEM background or an understanding of software engineering.

Of course, these risks may relate to the code a developer has written or the cloud environment the IT team has implemented, but reviewing alerts, assessing business impact and potential risk, and determining the appropriate course of action—these are not things that require a security professional to do. be a programmer or work in IT. Computer skills and background are no barriers to the cybersecurity profession — we are a business function, not a technical function.

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The most important skills: communication, cooperation

Over the past few years, we’ve seen more and more essential services, critical infrastructure and leisure activities move online. To see also : Anderson University Cybersecurity Center Open to Businesses. This transformation has changed the way we all work and live and brought every aspect of modern business into the digital world, no matter what team you’re on.

Software engineering teams creating new applications, hardware teams developing new mobile and virtual reality devices, IT and DevOps teams building and maintaining cloud infrastructure, sales and marketing teams using all these resources to track user interactions and business metrics… everyone has its share of the digital pie.

If you’re on a cybersecurity team, you’re tasked with keeping all of these teams safe, every day. But this is not something you can do alone. You need the help of all of them to provide that protection. This can be anything from asking the team to change their process to support a better safety outcome, to requiring a sudden change in priorities to address a critical risk.

Getting this help requires investing in building relationships, finding the right communication styles for different teams or peers, and focusing on working together to help everyone be safer. Without investing in these skills, you will find yourself disconnected from the very people you try to protect every day.

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You are part of a movement that makes our industry fairer

You see, there’s no denying that cybersecurity is still a male-dominated industry. In 2013, women made up only 11% of the industry. But we change it every day. This may interest you : Resecurity’s cybersecurity solutions now available in the Microsoft Azure marketplace. Today, women make up a quarter of the cybersecurity workforce. It took seven years to go from 11% to 20%, but only two years to go to 25%. We’re closing the gender gap in cybersecurity faster than ever, across all aspects of the organization. And we do it together.

There are great organizations and programs advocating for equality and diversity in cybersecurity, from Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) and the Women’s Cyberjutsu Society (WSC), to organizations like Cyersity that support all underrepresented groups in the industry. The SANS Institute has an immersion course for women who are changing careers and students who want to learn more. There are tons of tools, groups, and resources to support you on your journey every step of the way. You will not be alone and every step you take helps us all.

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